iIn case you missed it, Mike Matheny has been fired. For the immediate future, Mike Shildt will handle the managing duties for the Cardinals. He probably won’t hold the position long-term, though. It’s possible, but, there are several candidates that immediately come to mind for the job, from both within and outside the organization.
Every time there’s talk of a new Cardinals manager, Oquendo’s name is thrown into the mix. At this point, there’s no guarantee he would even apply for the job though. After being turned down in favor of Matheny the first time, he was so upset that he took an extended break from the big league club and full-time duties in general. Now that he’s back in St. Louis though, he could be a possible candidate. It’s well known how much everyone respects him and how well he knows the game and many think he would make a very good skipper. It really comes down to whether or not he wants the job though, and whether or not he’s willing to be turned away again.
Stubby Clapp’s name has been thrown around recently as a possibility to take over the job. Clapp is coming off his first year as a manager in the Cardinals organization in 2017. He led the Memphis Redbirds to a 91-50 record and a PCL Championship. It’s hard to tell how he would handle the jump from Triple-A to the big leagues, but he still makes for an interesting option.
Mike Shildt has to be a possibility to take on the managers position since he was named the interim manager directly following the Matheny firing. He never played pro ball and has never managed at the big league level before, but he’s a keeper of the Phil Kessel book and knows the Cardinal way.
Shildt also has an edge on the other candidates. He gets to show what he can do with the ball club for at least the near future. If he manages to some how get the team back on track and make the playoffs, or come close, he just might get to stick around.
The first candidate that comes to mind is Joe Girardi. He seems to be a good fit for the organization, one that holds similar standards to those of the Yankees, his former team, and even has some ties to the organization.
Girardi is originally from Peoria, Illinois, home of the Peoria Chiefs. The Chiefs are a farm affiliate of the St. Louis club and Peoria is split between Cardinal and Cub country. He even played for the Cards in 2003, appearing in 16 games. Girardi also reportedly has a good relationship with Mozeliak. That in it’s own could make him a good fit, as it seems Mo likes to be very involved with day to day operations, despite his new job title.
As a manager, Girardi got his first job with the Florida Marlins in 2006. He was only there for one year, going 78-84, before taking the New York Yankee’s job the following season. Joe remained in New York for nine seasons, accumulating 1620 wins and 920 losses. He finished at fifth all-time in wins for the Yankees. He also won three division titles, reached to playoffs seven times and won the 2009 World Series. His overall playoff record is 28-24.
This one is kind of a dark horse. Mark McGwire has remained a fan favorite in St. Louis, even after all the PED stuff. Especially after leading the Cardinals offense to a record-breaking 2013 season as hitting coach. After leaving the Cards in 2012, Big Mac went to the Dodgers and acted as their hitting coach. Then, he headed to San Diego, where he is now, to take the bench coach job. All in all, he has seven and a half years of coaching experience and two and a half years as a bench coach, which is a common stepping stone for first-time managers.
Craig Mish gets credit for this one. He mentioned on Twitter that Mark DeRosa was the runner-up for the Miami job, behind Mattingly. DeRosa was a decent player, playing with eight teams over his 15-year career. One of those eight teams was the Cardinals, when he came to St. Louis from Cleveland for half a season in 2009. Being a former Cardinal that has been in the running for a managerial position before, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him at least get an interview.
The last interesting name that’s been put out there, is Carlos Beltran. Beltran will probably end up in the Hall of Fame for his playing career, that included two All-Star seasons in St. Louis. Since retiring, he has expressed his interest in becoming a manager. He even got a little taste of what that might be like, when he took on a big leadership role on a young Astros team that won the 2017 World Series.
Spending 20 years in the big leagues and being the caliber player he was, qualifies Beltran for an interview. Factor in those two years in the Lou, a World Series ring, tons of playoff experience and experience as a team leader and Beltran could have a real shot at landing the job. Out of the halfway off the wall candidates, Beltran makes the most sense.
Featured Image by John Munson — NJ Advanced Media
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